The Berean Expositor
Volume 39 - Page 215 of 234
Index | Zoom
"From Thy temple high above Jerusalem,
display Thy strength, O God.
Who hast so mightily prevailed for us.
There kings must offer Thee tribute.
Check that Brute of a Nile-power,
the bullocks and steers of pagans;
Trample down crafty policy,
rout all races that rejoice in war,
till Egypt sends ambassadors,
and Ethiopia hurries to submit to God."
The sending of ambassadors suggests that Egypt will sue for peace (Isa. 30: 4;
33: 7), and when we consider Isa. 19:, "the burden of Egypt", and the remarkable
words of its closing verses, the translation will become even more suggestive. The
prophet Isaiah rebukes Israel for trusting in the shadow of Egypt, and one passage, which
is a warning, is often quoted with favour and as a message of comfort, but this is a
mistake. The words are "their strength is to sit still" (Isa. 30: 7), but the R.V. reads
"therefore have I called her Rahab that sitteth still". The Companion Bible comments:
"Heb. Egypt--sitting still (and thus not giving the help that was sought).
Rehab = pride or strength, is put by Fig. Metonymy (of Adjunct) for Egypt, the proud
strong one. Note the wrong but common use of this verse, through not heeding the
Moffatt's vigorous translation here is "hence My name for it `Dragon-do-Nothing'."
After a desolation that lasts forty years, the Lord reveals that He will gather the Egyptians
and bring again the captivity of Egypt and will cause them to return "and they shall be a
base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any
more above the nations" (Ezek. 29: 13-15).
Because the Hebrew word translated "base" is sometimes translated "humble", some
commentators have thought that this word "base" does not refer to Egypt's degradation,
but to a lowly submission, and where the A.V. of Ezek. 17: 14 reads "that the kingdom
might be base", Moffatt reads "that the realm might be submissive and not ambitious".
At first, the words of Dan. 4: 17 addressed to Nebuchadnezzar "and setteth up over it
the basest of men" would appear to nullify this view, but it must not be forgotten that at
the end of Dan. 4: Nebuchadnezzar was extremely humbled and acknowledged the
sovereignty of the Most High. While therefore this possibility must be admitted, our
knowledge is too limited for more than an expression of the opinion that it may be so.
On the other hand the added words "neither shall it exalt itself any more" seems to look
back to the reduction of Egypt to "a base kingdom".
Another passage of prophetic interest is Isa. 19:, denominated "the burden of
Egypt". After a series of prophetic utterances concerning the judgments that shall fall
upon Egypt, comes a most wonderful and unexpected denouement (Isa. 19: 23-25), but
before we ponder this most marvelous manifestation of grace, let us note a few items that
are of prophetic importance. The chapter opens with terms that appear to speak of the
second advent of Someone riding "upon a swift cloud"; One Who "shall come", and
"His presence" be manifest. The effect upon Egypt is that "the heart of Egypt shall